I’m island. 

I am sitting here, a bar. A crowded bar and drinking the strongest thing allowed by my Mormon faith: Coca-Cola. In front of me there’s a newspaper, my right side is cold and not too invested -what a way to say “my boyfriend sits on my right”- he watches a soccer game, a classic one. Me? Not much of a classic here, just her girlfriend. 

Hands inside his pockets. Mind miles away. But I’m here to breath silently, to read, to smile if he dignifies himself a looks my way. 

Where’s my Temple? 

What I was told

Sitting back, train rides.

Then, Infinite said “if things are going the way I think they are, you are putting your trust on dead rather than on life, fear is consuming your soul, darkness cover your days and a long night awaits you to give it kiss”

All I knew was this: Infinite is absolute and fallible, but seldomly mistaken. It has to do with instic and heart. Not brain.

I wish for Infinite wrong. Never has happened.

Told me to pray, so I did. Told me to wait, so I obeyed.

“Faith”, it says, “will save you. Only you, but faith will help others, that’s all you can do”

“Love”, my heart hurts, “makes things, people and situations beautiful and worth living for, it also has a color and a taste: red from your blood, salty from your tears”

I’m a woman and I’m sorry

What an uneasy affair is this!

It’s not because some Freudian assumption or religious pre-selected role issue, it rather deals with the fact that you are shocked, displeased, mad or even horrendously jealous about my condition.

First of all, I’m NOT a feminist. I have respect for those who decide to follow up that path reserved to militant women, the hardest kind of women to be, now and since the world became to be “the world”. Feminism adds candor, vibrant theories and nearly too much discussion on the subject of womanhood, dealing and mixing biology with culture, politics, history, faith, and some future fantasies. I’m more basic and reserved, shy you might like to say. Upon realizing facts, it is impossible to stand indifferent, however, I’ll not shout either defend myself. I will apologize.

I’m a woman. Biologically speaking I’m not a male. Apologize factor number 1.

I’m a woman with a career, which means that I can, and do, provide for myself with dignity and a deep sense of pride, yes I’m prideful. My brain works as well as yours at creating ideas, modeling what our society could be at any time from now on. What used to be over-the-top selective “chats” on the “haps” among boys are today’s forcedly open to me. Apologize factor number 2.

I’m a woman having fun. Yes! Fun also happen to us, the female of the species. Let’s set aside what “fun” looks like for you: liquor, “chicks”, zero responsibilities, money and status. Freedom isn’t it? Let me drop a bomb, a woman can, and is FREE, regardless of what that term is stereotype by your prejudices. Being the “weaker gender” opens up fixed concepts long used, so keep the “Mad Men” dream, we, women, have the rest of what existence has to offer to have fun AND be free. Apologize factor number 3.

I’m a woman who eats shamelessly. Metrosexuals? Spare that! Having body issue is a given to us before carbs were the devil tasting yummy! Even though body image related illness are now accepted to “occur” in men’s land when was the last time you heard a friend regretting ice cream, checking size clothes over “M” with fear, being told by Karl (not Marx, the one in charge of Chanel) that he -or the fashion industry itself, for that matter- profoundly regret that you are not the ideal person, in fact denying the fault that girls, starting at 5 years old, are suffering (I use words carefully, for a man things “occur”, for a woman suffering HAS to be involved) signs of anorexia, bulimia, committing suicide and bullying among themselves. For him, his preferences are above me (he thinks) and I should be in a terrible sense of shame right now, after my fourth piece of cake and creamed coffee. Mr. Fashion Industry, eat your own crap. Shame is for cowards like you. Apologize factor number 4.

I’m a woman and people won’t react with pity when I show EMOTIONS. Real, intense feelings, yes, many say,”oh, it must be your time of the month”, some feminist take that as an insult, I laugh. It is “my” time of the month, EVERY DAY OF EVERY MONTH. Humans show SYMPATHY, closeness, and humanity. I get to see my peers (men and women) as they really are: vulnerable creatures. Do you know how joyful it feels to see souls instead of actings? Apologize factor number 5.

Therefore, I say:

I’m a woman so you don’t have to be one. For that, you have my deepest sorrow. I’m sorry. 

Perceptions

Hello, I would like to address you today as fellow observers and here is why: my topic relates to what we see versus what it is, meaning: perceptions.

One of the most “not to use it socially” themes is our faith. How curious is that! Think about this: believing is not the problem, it is how you present the subject which is often done very poorly because fighting is better that explaining right? And trying to prove everyone else wrong can bust any ego. So, to talk about faith we need to do it pointing out that it is a matter of perceptions.

I’ll talk, discuss, myself. What do you see right now? What are you thinking? Am I super religious? Am I an atheist, agnostic, jew, Christian? I’m a Christian, big wow for some, I’ll give you more details, I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a very long name typically shorted to: hey, my name is X and I’m a Mormon.

Yes, like Mitt Romney. You probably have been never met one, or at leats one that says it openly, however, according to Church’s data I’m one in 15 million members from SLC, UT to Manila. Let me give you some facts: it is the 4th largest denomination is the U.S, having more that 29,000 congregations worldwide (wards and branches), probably unknown to you is that just around 40% of Mormons actually lives is the U.S, the rest that’s saying the majority, lives elsewhere, 40% in Latin America, Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the Church and no, we don’t practice polygamy today. Yes, we did, no we don’t.

We, I, believe in The Book of Mormon, The Bible, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price to be, all of them, Scripture, however, defining “scripture” is a perception. I’ll go there later as we discover the speech. Twice a year we attend “General Conference” where our top leaders speak for two days from SLC and one of them summarized what an average member does by using these words ”

Once there was a man who dreamed that he was in a great hall where all the religions of the world were gathered. He realized that each religion had much that seemed desirable and worthy.

He met a nice couple who represented The Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and asked, “What do you require of your members?”

We do not require anything,” they replied. “But the Lord asks that we consecrate all.”

The couple went on to explain about Church callings, home and visiting teaching, full-time missions, weekly family home evenings, temple work, welfare and humanitarian service, and assignments to teach.

“Do you pay your people for all the work they do?” the man asked.

“Oh, no,” the couple explained. “They offer their time freely.”

“Also,” the couple continued, “every six months our Church members spend a weekend attending or watching 10 hours of general conference.”

“Ten hours of people giving talks?” the man wondered.

“What about your weekly church services? How long are they?”

“Three hours, every Sunday!”

“Oh, my,” the man said. “Do members of your church actually do what you have said?”

“That and more. We haven’t even mentioned family history, youth camps, devotionals, scripture study, leadership training, youth activities, early-morning seminary, maintaining Church buildings, and of course there is the Lord’s law of health, the monthly fast to help the poor, and tithing.”

The man said, “Now I’m confused. Why would anyone want to join such a church?”

The following questions was WHY WOULD ANYONE WANTED TO BE A MEMBER? I have my answer, my perception BECAUSE IT IS HOW I CHOSE TO WORSHIP THE DIVINITY. Do Catholics, Jews, Evangelicals and so on, are right? Of course! Even Pope Francis tweeted that all religions were O.K.

At any given Sunday, you can see this happening nearby a big high school within walking distance from a tube station: 120 humans gathered inside a neat room, sit, some talking while others fit widely between keeping kids under control to simply reading. We are waiting for the Sacrament meeting to begin. Then a big robust Dutch man stands up at the pulpit and welcomes us using his broken Spanish full of joy and sincere gratefulness. His name is brother Van Doorn, a man in is 60’s with one of the most strong and well-rounded testimonies and mind, that I’ve ever seen. I listen, ponder, go to the restroom, etc, hour and 15 minutes later Sunday School begins, let me describe the scenario: I watch sister Boerr while she teaches her lesson about Disciples found in the New Testament, she has five kids and a job – along sided a crappy husband- regardless her everyday stuff this lovely woman prepares each class faithfully week after week and encourages us to read and perceive our doctrine. I’ve always admired our learning capabilities, but on that Sunday it came to my mind a realization: she has had been learning from us as well. We don’t know all things about God, we are Mormons!

Perceptions may give you the impression of perfect families or people are found among believers of any kind. Moreover, these people are basic, stupid, brainwashed or weak, it’s common to hear that faith conquers all or avoids explanations, but it is also forgotten that faith is a daily exercise knowing suffering and doubts like all of you, brother Holland said this a few years ago

“Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters—mental or emotional or physical or otherwise—do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says, 10 we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.”

And quoted one of my favorite passage from Doctrine and Covenants, section 84:88

88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

 

Strong words

Beliefs, believe and trust. All applied to you.

Here is the thing, English is not my native language, I speak Spanish but for the purpose of practicing my second language this blog was created.

Another confession, my Spanish grammar is far from perfect, I need lots of editing and rewriting along the way, my official topics are connected to my daily job-related shores but I need to do this for pleasure, an outlet, breath and yes, ego. But why the title, confession and randomness of this post? Just because I can.

Belief is a strong word, rooted within a person’s soul it manage paradigmatic vision composed by good judge, prejudices and self-inflicted lies. We can’t control it because the system was planted in our unconsciousness way before our forming in the wombs of our mothers. Funny, this is a Jungian belief in which I totally subscribe my thinking and try to fit you in. Beliefs are the translate software activated between ourselves and the others inasmuch as we don’t speak the same. To each brain its own software.

Believe, the descendant of our former strong word. In order to function according to software whoever you are an action must take place, essence the verb “believe” existence and use which varies even for one person’s self, and to add even more complexity to it no one “believes” at least 50% of the beliefs he/she proclaims to advocate for. A word with many misconception that as a cynic twist is taken so rigidly by so many.

Trust. Important, vital, never applied. Democracies, Dictatorships and religions base upon its meaning(less) significance as we lost the humanity inherent to live by it, since its definition is, and  I quote “noun 1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. 2. confident expectation of something; hope.” characters qualities are needed to use and be benefit by my third strong word, and lastly but not less important the second meaning of trust is hope. Curious isn’t it? What a dream for universe’s comedy to have us putting our trust in hope not knowing that both are one?. How is that we use the word hope at the end of everything when it is the beginning of all?. Do you have hope in your surrounding peers or circumstances?

Which are your “strong words”? The words upon the building of your life has its stillness. I have listed mine.

Today

TODAY

I ’ll leave a castle of confort for a road leading to a vague thing called “future”, I’m not sure how this whole “future” crap works, “ahead” “foresee” “coming” “leading towards” etc. My life has those words like tags EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Lists come and go, some just add more task to them, apparently “future” is full of todays. 

What if I ditch “future” and start thinking of “today in X days”. It could be an inner problem this inability to use that term, to think inside the parameters of unseen foreseeable certainties, coping mechanism? Maybe, almost positive. Good bye one location, hello a million of different whereabouts. I do wonder if the pain feels like glory once you decide to stop to jungle what won’t happen instead of living the happenings. 

Living is crossing doings, doings never cease to chase you once put a green light and a plain ticket in your pocket. I’m O.K with chasing me, over and over again,

Today, I’ll be doing that.

In the Space Where Sister Rodgers Was

Great C.Jane

By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

On a cold and sunny morning last month I met with my fellow sisters in the cultural hall to start preparing for Sister Rodgers funeral. The night before a storm of service volunteers had rolled out and set up more than a dozen round tables and stuffed them with chairs. Our job was to dress the tables, set them and top them with fresh flowers.

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